Directly recorded notes [by Robert Priddy] of an Indian devotee's account of the Brian O'Leary group interview
Transcript (in black) and comments (violet):-
Sri Kantalya told in detail about the 1987 visit of a U.S. astronaut Brian O'Leary, and his entourage. How he got an interview with them at Brindavan. Baba made O'Leary a gold and greenstone ring that was too large, then blew on it etc. Also made one for another person.
This account is other than that by a person present as to the kind of ring Sai Baba gave to O'Leary. This is not untypical when religious Indians tell of events, accuracy suffers in devotional zeal and exaggeration and myth often edge in. We now know that Sathya Sai Baba has long training in this sleight-of-hand with rings which are too big or too small. He evidently does not know the finger size but estimates it and, when the first ring is tried on, he can then decide which of the two other he has behind him should fit more properly. The rings are chosen from his wide private collection - often having already got some information from his servitor spies about the person he will give to, size of fingers etc. The rings are then concealed in his chair behind him, most often under a cushion. When he reaches for the rings he simultaneously directs everyone's attention to something else... maybe pointing to a person at the rear of the room (everyone turns around) or making other gestures with his free hand and/or saying something startling, or making fun of someone.
Then he made medicine for the lady who had asked for "that ash" - like a huge plum, which she swallowed whole "like a hippo" and which silenced her for the rest of the interview. Baba had told her of an illness she had.
She did not know she was ill! Typical Sai Baba ploy. He did the same with me, saying I had a stomach problem (when I did not at all). But those who believe him to be most or all of what he claims are impressed and imagine they have the illness, but that it has not shown itself yet, or that Sai has cured it already!
A lady whose legs were full of great pain - from the waist down - was cured by Swami within the day she was 80% cured.
The pressure to 'get up an walk' when Sai Baba tells one to do so, and even helps lift the person to his or her feet, is very strong. The mind tries to be positive and have faith that the pain is lessened etc. The 'patient' soon reverts back to the former state. The well-known devotee, Mrs. Joy Thomas, had her wheelchair was swept away by servitors as soon as they heard Sai Baba tell her to stand up! She wrote about this honestly in one of her many books. She later died in the Super-Speciality Hospital due to a doctor who refused her a blood transfusion - according to a report by her husband to friends of mine.
Here follows the account of a friend of a well-known critic of Sathya Sai Baba, Paul Holbach. The removal of the person's name was often made early in the exposé due to the harassment and stalking that followed in many cases by Sai Baba supporters of the lowest kind of mentality. Of couse, the same is done whenever the writer is so placed as to be in jeopardy of reactions from Sai officials, family, friends, employers etc.)